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Looking for a rebound

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McCoy takes reigns of struggling Liberty volleyball program

By Mike Forster

 

Sisyphus had his boulder.

Hercules had his twelve labors.

Henry the Fifth had his Agincort.

Then, there's Amanda McCoy.

The most recent volleyball head coach at William Byrd, McCoy is set to assume the orb and scepter that come with taking over the program at Liberty High this autumn.

It is, indeed, a great challenge.  Liberty won a single match last season and has not finished in the top half of the Seminole District for at least the past eight years.

McCoy, who was known by her maiden name of Amanda Stump before her recent marriage to Kris McCoy, is a graduate of William Byrd.

After graduating from Roanoke College, she was able to return to her alma mater.  She taught at Byrd and coached the Terrier netters from 2008 until the most recent school year.

During her stint at Byrd, the Terriers qualified for the Region III tournament on three separate occasions.  She also coached Macie Hoback, an All-State honorable mention as a Terrier.

In spite of her strong ties to Byrd, McCoy is no stranger to Bedford.  In fact, during her time at Roanoke College, she served as the JV coach at Liberty High.  "I really enjoyed my time at Liberty," said McCoy.  "It was my first head coaching experience."

The stars really aligned for Liberty Athletic Director Lori Mattson on this one.  As luck would have it, Kris McCoy had taken a position at Liberty as an English teacher.

Wanting to work near one another (they were just married in February, after all, and reside in Bedford County), Amanda looked into openings at Liberty, as well.

She found one as a Special Education teacher.  That the head volleyball job was open was gravy.

"I am truly excited to have (McCoy) joining the Liberty High School coaching staff..." said Mattson.  "(She) displays a strong work ethic and knowledge of the game that will positively impact and inspire the student-athletes that she will be working with on a daily basis."

During a recent interview, McCoy stressed her work ethic.  "I'm huge on giving 100% everyday," she said.  "I can come in and teach the game, but success only comes with hard work."

McCoy also emphasized that, for the Liberty program to improve significantly, there needs to be a holistic approach.  "I'll be 180% invested in the school, the kids and the community," she said.  "If the girls are out in the community, they're putting our name out there and encouraging folks to come to see them.

McCoy is no stranger to encouraging folks to come out to events.  A participant in the Miss Virginia Pageant from 2004 to 2007, she was also the second runner-up Miss Virginia USA in 2009.  She earned that honor serving as Miss Roanoke Valley USA.

She still runs the Miss Smith Mountain Lake Scholarship Pageant, which is a feeder to the Miss Virginia program.

As if that weren't enough, she also coaches the Next Revolution Volleyball (NRV), which is based in Roanoke and draws 17-year old players from a wide geographic area.

Busy?  Certainly.  But McCoy's not too busy to dive right in and try to bring Liberty volleyball back to its glory days of the early 2000's.

It's a big challenge, but she seems up to it.